About Deanna

Born on December 4, 1921 she emigrated with her parents to the United States from Canada in 1923. As she got older she discovered her natural singing talent. Wanting to be an opera singer, she performed on the radio when she was a teenager. She appeared in a musical short-subject for MGM ("Every Sunday") in 1936 - with Judy Garland - and eventually appeared in "Three Smart Girls" (1936), which was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Her performance was so popular in the film, and she went on to star in another 20 films for Universal Studios (all lead roles - see filmography).
Deanna is often credited with helping to save Universal from bankrupcy. She was given an Honorary Academy Award in 1938. Her rendition of Irving Berlin's song "Always" was a hit during the WW2 years, and she was one of the GI's favorite pinups. She was also one of Anne Frank's favorite Hollywood movie stars.

According to Christian Cassidy who writes for the blogs West End Dumplings and This Was Manitoba, Deanna was billed as the 'girl from St. Vital' (a semi rural area of Winnipeg). Her father was a blacksmith at the rail yards (who came from Britain) and they lived in a small working class house near them. Her uncles were machinists at the rail yards but one of them lived in St. Vital

There's also a Deanna Durbin house in Winnipeg. Deanna helped design it and it was raffled off during WWII as a fundraiser.

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